What If Abraham Lincoln Were A Dad Blogger

Antietam, Md. Allan Pinkerton, President Lincoln, and Maj. Gen. John A. McClernand

Antietam, Md. Allan Pinkerton, President Lincoln, and Maj. Gen. John A. McClernand

If Abraham Lincoln were a dad blogger I might ask him to write a guest post about how to deal with bullying, making hard decisions and how to be a better father.

I might tell him about how some children are messing with my son and how it makes me think of the truck scene from Man of Steel and how I wish that I could tell my son that he just has to hide his abilities from people.

But since he is not Superman I’d probably ask old Honest Abe for his advice because when you mess with my kids I want to turn in Liam Neeson’s character in Taken.

“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom I can tell you I dont have money, but what I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for peope like you. If you let my daughter go now that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you, but if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you and I will kill you.” Taken

Memories Come Back To Visit

I didn’t tell my son how angry I was when he told me about the kids who are messing with him. I didn’t tell him about how the stories made me remember the kids who messed with me and that I know from personal experience Some Wounds Take Longer To Heal.

When he spoke I maintained a poker face but storms had begun to rage inside my head because I remember how it felt.

I made a point to listen and when he asked for my advice I gave him some suggestions. I gave him some real tools for dealing with it and said sometimes people suck.

“If you can ignore it they will find someone else or if you can take control of the name and make it seem like you enjoy it they will stop calling you that.”

“Dad, if I do that they will laugh and try harder to get to me.”

I nodded my head, “yeah, but you have to keep it up one minute longer. If you turn it into a game in your head you can beat them.”

“I am not you. I can’t just laugh it off or pretend I don’t hear. I can’t tell them I’ll kick their ass because I’ll get kicked out of school. I can’t believe they don’t respect me.”

“Mister, you  didn’t know me when I was 13. You didn’t know me at 14 or 15. I wasn’t always like this. I learned how to manage these moments and you are going to figure it out too.”

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

If I told him I want’ed to ask Mr. Lincoln for advice my son would give me a funny look but he doesn’t have the same life experience and doesn’t understand the more things change, the more they stay the same.

My gut feeling is if my son can hang in there for a few more days summer break will come and things will die down. I know him well enough to know he’ll wonder if people will remember over summer but I won’t let him worry about that because it is too far away.

Or at least I’ll do my best to get him to just let go of that concern and deal with it if and when it happens in the Fall.

But in the interim we’ll sit down and I’ll talk to him some more about my experiences and I’ll see if that helps make him feel better. He doesn’t know that I really did smack some of the people who came after me and that is ok because I don’t want him to go there.

Times are different, back then you didn’t get expelled for fighting or sued. It worked out for me but it is not good solution.

I want him to figure out a solution that works for him that doesn’t involve dissolving the Union and I am confident he will. I just hope it happens before the end of the school year.


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  1. Larry June 1, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    The title of this post really caught my attention. Lincoln lost a few of his children and his wife suffered greatly. He had a rough life.
    It’s hard to hold back when you want to kick some ass on your child’s sake. I hope your son, with your guidance, can work things out.

    • Jack June 2, 2014 at 10:16 am

      Lincoln had a rough life in a lot of ways and his presidency wasn’t a cake walk. He really is on a list of people I wish could have met.

  2. Chloe Jeffreys May 31, 2014 at 6:21 am

    I hated more than anything these times when my kids had to go through stuff that was so painful for me when I had to go through it as a child. I hated to see their pain. I wanted to go beat the crap out of the people who had made my baby hurt. And I’m not a big man by any stretch. How I envy you that you can discard that as a possible option. Not that I think violence is an answer, but that has to feel very different.

    The lessons your son are learning though will last a lifetime. Dealing with bullies never really ends, as I’ve so recently discovered. Some bullies (and their assorted toadies) never grow up. The games just get meaner and sneakier as the bullies get more sophisticated, at least if they involve women. Maybe men are different.

    It sounds like your son has a great chance of figuring this out with a father like you who cares and brings some insight to the table. You’ve also helped me in an inadvertent way. Thanks, Jack!

    • Jack June 1, 2014 at 10:49 am

      Hi Chloe,

      I suspect it is just frustrating all around. I can handle myself with most people and certainly kids but kicking their asses probably doesn’t do anything but get me arrested. Would feel good for a moment, but…

      The big thing here is trying to teach my son how to handle this in a way that works for him.

      I agree they are good life lessons, but damn some of this can be so very hard.

  3. Andrea B ( May 30, 2014 at 6:09 am

    It’s so hard. I haven’t had this happen that much yet, but last year in Kindergarten when my daughter talked about some “mean girls” making fun of her? Oh, mama bear came out and I was ticked. I’m sure you’ll use the right words with your kiddo and I think we all find a way. School’s almost out – right? That’s what I keep reminding myself to get through these remaining days, so surely it can kind of apply here. Maybe they’ll just go away!

    • Jack May 30, 2014 at 11:57 pm

      School is almost out and I am hopeful the big guy can weather the storm a bit longer.

    • Chloe Jeffreys May 31, 2014 at 6:28 am

      Andrea, with girls it is so much harder because the games are so much meaner and harder to navigate. I found listening to be my best tool. I didn’t always have an answer for how to deal with the best friend who suddenly dumps you for another girl. I didn’t have an answer for what to do when the other girls spread nasty rumors that aren’t true, but grow legs and tarnish your reputation. I didn’t have an answer for how to cope when someone betrays your secrets and uses them as social currency.And I didn’t know what to tell her to do when a friend abandoned her because she’d like the wrong other girl, or hadn’t been willing to follow the crowd. But I could always listen. And remind her that these behaviors always said more about the girls than it ever would say about her.

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